India’s solar energy capacity addition dipped 12 per cent to 7,346 megawatts (MW) in the calender year 2019 from 8,338 MW in 2018, according to a report by Mercom India Research. While 2019 was a lost year for the country’s solar sector, Mercom India Research expects solar installations to rise by 17 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to about 8,500 MW by the end of 2020.
“The country installed 7,346 MW of solar in 2019, a 12 per cent decline year-over-year (YoY), compared to 8,338 MW installed in 2018,” according to the report titled ‘Q4 & Annual 2019 India Solar Market Update’.
It also estimates solar installations in the range of 65-70 gigawatt (GW) by 2022, based on the current market conditions. The government has set a solar installation target of 100 GW by 2022.
The large-scale solar projects accounted for 85 per cent of installations with 6,242 MW in 2019 and saw a 7 per cent y-o-y fall, and rooftop solar made up the remaining 15 per cent adding 1,104 MW, a 33 per cent drop y-o-y.
Karnataka was the top state for solar in 2019 with 1.8 GW, followed by Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Together, these three states accounted for almost 70 per cent of solar installations in 2019.
“The demand outlook for 2020 looks better with a stronger project pipeline, and we should see the solar market resume y-o-y growth again,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group in a statement.
He also said that a lot will depend on the economy and lending situation getting back on track, the impact of coronavirus, and the outcome of the 20 per cent basic customs duty announced in the recent Budget.
At the end of 2019, cumulative solar installations reached almost 35.7 GW. Large-scale projects accounted for 31.3 GW (87.6 per cent), whereas rooftop solar installations accounted for 4.4 GW (12.4 per cent).